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Cooling and Startup issue

Last response: in Systems
July 3, 2009 6:20:44 AM

What I have:

MSI 945 motherboard
ati radeon visiontek 1300x video card
intel celeron 2.66ghz LGA775
1 gig of ram
Masscool heatsink & fan ( )
dell's hardrive, power supply, case, and case fan.

I'm 17, first time building a computer, and I did it less than 24 hours ago.

Startup Issue:

I boot the computer and I come across the auto-detector screen. It detects my hardrive, and shows me the error (A: DRIVE ERROR). I hit F1 to continue, and now it shows the screen that gives me the Safe Mode options. I select Run Windows Normally, and the screen blacks out. sometimes, I don't even make it to the Safe Mode options screen. Sometimes it moves forward to the windows xp loading screen. any ideas?

Overheating issue:

the heatsink works like a charm. after 3 - 5 hours, you can smell something burning. I turn it off and let it cool for a few hours. Then, the process repeats. I want to put an end to this asap before any permanent damage occurs. I put my case fan in front of the PCI ports, where my network and video card are running. my vid card uses a heatsink, not a fan. My case is open 24/7, I don't have the option to close it.

By the way, the fan is blowing in the direction of the bottom hole of the power supply. How dangerous is this? I would love to turn my heatsink around 180 degrees, but I don't know where my thermal paste is ): and I would need to reapply it for maximum heatsink performance.

Any input is welcome, any advice is useful. Thanks.

More about : cooling startup issue

July 3, 2009 1:25:07 PM

A: drive error might be from having the floppy enabled in the bios but not actually having one

as for overheating, check temps (realtemp or coretemp) if they are high (>55 idle) then reseat the cooler
July 3, 2009 4:14:16 PM

that does look like it might be the cause of the A: drive error, but I doubt that it would cause the whole system to not start up properly. I'll give it a try though. I just figured out that when the problem does occur, I turn it off and unplug the power supply, then put it back in, it loads normally again. why? I have no idea :o 

And overheating, I'm not too good with that stuff D:
My BIOS tells me that my cpu is at 40 C, and my case is at 100 F (I don't remember it in C).

any ventilation ideas?
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July 3, 2009 4:30:19 PM

I changed the Floppy drive to "Not Installed" in the BIOS. that seems to fix that issue for now. Let's work on this overheating problem. **It is not the CPU** the cpu temp is normal.

Something else is burning inside the case.
July 3, 2009 7:24:30 PM

Try a different heatsink. Or reseat it.
July 3, 2009 9:35:30 PM

I know I mentioned my heatsink, but my heatsink and processors are functioning properly at reasonable temps. Something else is burning, it's not my heatsink, it's not my processor, and it isn't my hard drive (thank god). The smell might have been the heatsink on my vid card, after all, I was really pushing its limits with Counter Strike: Source and TF2. I can't be certain though, because I placed the old case fan in front of it and used some twisty ties to hold it in place xD I know I have to do this in a trial an error fashion, where I let everything run for a few hours and see if the heating issue elevates. If it does, it means that it is not my video card. if it doesn't, that means that the heatsink on my GPU was overheating during the games, and that putting the case fan in front of it worked to keep it cool, although I doubt it has a major role in keeping my whole system cool. I have to set up some fans to get a good circulation of fresh air.

Oh, and this is off topic but anyone know a store that carries 20 to 24 pin power supply converters? I don't want to buy online, but that's my last option. I've shot down Staples, Best Buy, Walmart, Radioshack, and 6th ave. I'm located in NJ so don't give me a store that has stores in the west coast or the middle of no where kansas. xD

thanks again guys.
July 4, 2009 4:02:36 PM

Is the burning smell coming from your power supply?

The PSU converter cable is not going to help you. Here's why.

The extra 4 pins of a "20+4" power connector are one each yellow, red, orange, and black for extra current carrying capacity of the 12 volt, 5 volt, 3.3 volt, and ground lines. You are not going to gain any extra power from the PSU.

But if you want one, your best choice is going to be either mail order or some local computer store.
July 5, 2009 2:32:26 AM

I'm not getting a PSU converter because I need 24 pins, I need the PSU converter so my power connector isn't wrapping tightly around my obnoxiously large heatsink.

and no, I don't think the burning is the power supply, because I would be able to recognize it, 1. from how hot it is to the touch, and 2. It's really just been running fine the last few hours and I haven't smelt anything since I put the case fan in.

Oh, and the start up issue is starting up again. xD

-it's not exactly overheating anymore because i've let it cool most of the time after a few hours. For me to test it, I'd need to literally sit here for hours and wait for it to overheat; something that might not even happen. That's why, when it happens, it happens. I don't want to force it into a situation in which it probably won't be in again. I'm sure if I get better ventilation going it will be fine.

ugh, damn startup issues.